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    Daily Beast Beefs Up Culture Coverage with LaPorte

    As Tina Brown finally gets around to building up a new pop culture vertical for The Daily Beast (in time for Oscar season), her diminutive west coast bureau chief Gabe Doppelt has beefed up The Beast's entertainment coverage with ex-LAT TV editor Kate Arthur and now ex-Variety reporter Nicole LaPorte (above), who has turned in her still untitled book on DreamWorks to Houghton Mifflin. LaPorte, whose first story covers the women's surf tour, is the Beast's senior west coast correspondent. She'll be working out of the L.A. office, "covering more culture stuff," she writes in an email, "movies mostly, from a more feature-y angle; also weird, fu...

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    Weekend Read: Poland vs. Wells, Almodovar Talks Cruz, Time's Top 50 Sites, MTV Fall Preview

    Hollywood Round-Up: MTV does the click per page routine with its fall movie preview, annoyingly.

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    Empire Covers Avatar

    The last wide-circulation English-language movie magazine standing is published in the UK: Empire. So that's where you go for your early Avatar cover story .

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    Media Watch: Innovating, Twittering, Social Networking, iTuning, Videoing

    Stop the presses! White guys direct 93% of Hollywood studio pictures. Yes, this has been a fact of life for far too long, and isn't changing any time soon. Who else are you going to trust with millions of dollars?

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    Leibovitz's Money Meltdown, HuffPo and Facebook Go Social, Media Hotspots

    Annie Leibovitz is astonishingly successful for a journalist. Or an artist. I'd be happy scoring $2 million plus a year.

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    Portfolio Returns, Hughes' Death Place, Celebs Shill on Facebook

    Movieline writer Stu Van Airsdale tracked down the site where John Hughes left this mortal coil.

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    Hughes Pen Pal Blogs and Talks

    Alison Byrne Fields, who became Hughes' pen pal when she was 15, blogs about it and talks about it. I was moved by the fact that she contacted him as an adult to tell him how she turned out, and he responded by telling her he was proud of her. She has been overwhelmed by the enormous fan and media r...

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    August Brings Dog Days, Celebs on Vacation

    The dog days of August are upon us. Will any of the month’s upcoming movies kick ass, like The Fugitive or Pineapple Express? Or are they studio also-rans? It can go either way, writes the NYT.

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    Nikki Finke: Moving Target

    Everybody's talking about Nikki Finke.

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    Comic-Con: Twilight: New Moon Press Conference

    About 600 people camped overnight to get into the Twilight: New Moon panel, which started at 1:45 PM in Hall H. Some came from as far away as the Philippines. But first there was a press conference at the Biltmore Hilton adjacent to the gigantic blocks long convention enter, which at 9 Thursday morn...

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